BuildBuddy, whose software helps developers quickly compile and test code using a mix of open source technology and proprietary tools, today announced a $ 3.15 million funding round.
The company was part of Winter 2020 Y combiner batchThe traditional demo day in March became a purely virtual affair. The startups from the cohort then had to raise capital when the public markets collapsed around them and fear overtook the startup investment world.
BuildBuddy's round of funding makes it clear that troubled market conditions and the move away from in-person demos didn't completely dampen investor interest in YC's startups in March, though it's far too early to say if the group is, given the fact Will Do Better Than Others How long does it take for startup winners to mature into exits?
Let's talk about code
BuildBuddy has foundations for how Google builds software. To get under your skin what it does, I found a co-founder Siggi Simonarsonwho worked at the Mountain View-based search giant for one a little over half a decade.
During this time, he got used to creating Google-style software, namely using the in-house tool Blaze to compile his code. According to Simonarson, this is at the core of how developers at Google work towards TechCrunch. “You write code,” he added, “you run Blaze Build. When you write code, you run the Blaze test. "
What sets Blaze apart from other developer tools is that "unlike your traditional language-specific build tools," said Simonarson, it is code-independent so you can use it to "build across (any) programming language."
Google Open source at the core of Blazewho was named Bazel, an anagram of the original name.
What does BuildBuddy do? In terms of the product, it creates the Blaze parts that Google engineers within the company can access so that other developers can use Bazel in their own work. In a business sense, BuildBuddy wants to offer its service to individual developers for free and to charge fees to companies that use its product.
Simonarson and his co-founder Tyler Williams Started small and created a Results UI tool that they shared with a Bazel user group. The members of this group picked up the tool and quickly brought it to a number of sizable companies.
This genesis underscores something that BuildBuddy often lacks in early-stage startups, namely a demonstrable appetite for the corporate market. Many large companies use Bazel to build software, and BuildBuddy made its way into some of them early on.
However, simply creating a useful tool for a popular open source project is not a guarantee of success. Fortunately for BuildBuddy, early adopters helped set the direction for product development, which means that the summer the startup added the features its current users wanted most.
Simonarson stated that BuildBuddy, having originally been used by outside developers, needed additional tools like authentication. In the words of the co-founder, the startup's response was “great!” The same applied to a request for dashboarding and other functions.
Even better for the YC grad, some of the roles requested were the kind he is willing to charge for. That brings us back to money and the round itself.
BuildBuddy closed its round in May. But, like most venture capital stories, it's not an easy story.
According to Simonarson, his startup started advancing the round on one of those terrible early COVID days when the stock market fell double-digit percentage points in a single trading session.
BuildBuddy's goal was to raise $ 1.5 million. Simonarson was concerned at the time, and told TechCrunch that it was his first fundraising and that he wasn't sure his startup would "raise anything" in this climate.
But the burgeoning company secured its first check for $ 100,000. And then a check for $ 300,000 that over time manages to fill its round.
What took the company from $ 1.5 million to just over $ 3 million? The investor, who put in $ 300,000, wanted to invest another $ 2 million. The company cut them down to $ 1.5 million with a higher cap (BuildBuddy raised its round with a SAFE), and the deal was closed on those terms.
The startup didn't want to raise the extra money at first, but Simonarson told TechCrunch that it wasn't clear at the time where the fundraising environment was going. BuildBuddy was thrown back when layoffs at startups were a leading story and the return to high-cadence VC laps was months away.
BuildBuddy secured $ 3.15 million to support a current number of four employees. Of course, the company wants to lower its weirdly long runway and further expand its Bazel-oriented service.
Pick a few names from the investor Spreadsheet that BuildBuddy sent points to the startup for the sake of completeness – Y Combinator, additive, Scribble and Village Globalamong other things bring capital to the group.
Development tools are hot right now. With that in mind, I expect we'll hear from them again as soon as BuildBuddy's ARR starts moving.